Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Okay, I know I promised no more serious stuff but because everyone told me not to be a wuss and get bullied (thanks!) and today was the day we buried our beloved President Cory Aquino, let me tell you a story.

I spent my childhood studying at Assumption Convent, a beautiful sprawling school run by Augustinian nuns. It's tucked into a slope on the hills of Antipolo and I believe it's one of the most beautiful places in the world.

In 1986, I was 10 years old and by then, my family had started attending a Baptist church but we didn't yet see any huge doctrinal differences (there are a few very big ones, by the way) so my parents didn't see any harm in continuing to send their kids to Catholic schools.

Fourth grade ('86-'87). I'm the fourth standing girl from right, with the white headband. 

Anyway, in Sunday School, we memorized Bible verses and just that particular Sunday, I had memorized Luke 18:14 "For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." So I was very excited when at morning prayer on Monday, the nun—I forget her name—chose that exact same verse as our lesson. Usually, I was too sleepy to pay attention to morning prayer but that day, I was alert and so remembered this story vividly.

In 1986, the Filipinos had a peaceful revolution that overthrew a dictatorship and installed Corazon Aquino, a housewife and widow of the martyred Senator Ninoy Aquino, as the president of the Philippines. We were in a euphoric state and even though I was a kid, I felt the positive changes in the air. On that particular morning of Luke 18:14, the nun told us the importance of humility and gave as an example Cory and Ninoy. She said, "Ninoy was proud, as men usually are, always calling attention to themselves. Cory stayed in the background, as a woman should, supporting and caring for the people around her. But see how God works! Ninoy was humbled and his wife was exalted! So you, girls, should not be so ambitious. There is glory in serving others and if you are humble enough, God will see your humility and exalt you."

Now don't get mad. That's typical of an Assumption education—we Assumptionistas are really bred to become housewives (to powerful men, of course!). Kidding aside, we are taught to serve mankind and to always put God and others before us. It's not so bad—I am who I am because of my Assumption education and I will not hesitate to send my daughters there if the time comes. But back to Luke 18:14 and Cory and Ninoy...

I see the nun's point. I just feel bad that she thought that way about Ninoy, though! And he didn't fare so badly; after all, he is a National Hero, with his face on the PHP 500 bill no less! He's been exalted, too. Although, of course, as Cory joked (paraphrased), "I used to introduce myself as the wife of Ninoy Aquino. Now people describe him as my husband!"

When I was a kid, Papa used to tell me that I was too ambitious, a trait unbecoming of a woman. He also said I should change my goal to if I want to be a writer, I should marry one instead. Well, I found a better deal—I did become a writer and I married a writer! You can't say I wasn't an obedient daughter!

I do know that I am here for Vince and I am his most ardent fan and supporter. He is my first priority and I will serve him and his needs first. Yes, despite my feminism, I have no argument with submitting my will to my man because I have found joy in serving him. And, being the wonderful man that he is, his joy is also in serving me and making me happy! So it's not like I'm worse off. In fact, I am better off, now that I've set aside myself. There is a beautiful irony there, that in humility, there is even more glory. Cory and Ninoy and all the wonderful people out there—parents, husbands, wives, teachers, missionaries, doctors, nurses, you know who you are!—know this wonderful secret. And now I've shared it with you!

P.S. Vince just sighed, "Now prepare for the angry feminist comments!"

UPDATE: I want to reiterate that I am only happy serving Vince because he serves me, too. He puts me first so it's a give-give situation. This is not about me knowing my place. My man treats me like a queen so he is worth serving. If a man treats you any less, get out of there fast. He doesn't deserve your love and respect!


  1. I find it cute how you share Vince's comment/s at the end of some of your entries.

    I can just imagine him hovering at your desk, reading your blog and giving his two cents worth. :)

  2. amen! don't stop posting serious posts like these please. they're really inspiring.


  3. Hi Frances,

    I made a blog post earlier today, too, and mentioned service to your man as one of the lessons to be learned from Cory Aquino.

    I feel the same way as you do. I really do my best to cater to the needs of my boyfriend, and I can't wait for us to be married so I can serve him and take care of him even more. It brings me so much joy! And yes, he takes care of my the way I deserve to be taken care of.

    Oh, oh, oh, I think I love you now, haha! I really love this blog! And you have rabbits, wheeee! /end fangirl mode

  4. this post hit me hard ha. shucks, super domineering pa naman ako and i often feel sorry for bf's helpless face everytime i start to act like i own his soul.

    kasi naman, john 3:16 ang tumatak sa utak ko, lol. seriously, this is the first time i thought HARD about that side of me. need to change it...

  5. I think if it is a two way street and it makes you happy then it is not a betrayal of your feminist side at all.
    Great post - thanks for the history lesson too :)

  6. I am gigggling inside. Wow, I'm an Assumptionist, but from down-south! Our own school joke: we were bred to be the hard-faced women at rallies and picketlines!

    But all in all, I think your "service to your man" is valid no matter what feminist ideals clash with it. In any case, women especially have that innate nature to nurture anyway. If submitting simply means upholding of your promise to care, love, share for only one man you've deemed worthy then, yeah.


  7. I totally agree with your here. By serving your partner, you get so much more in return. Stay happy and in love :)

  8. Angry feminist comment coming up! Haha. Just kidding.

    I think you make a good point. Making sure other people are happy, even if we put their needs first before our own, is not submission, especially if we're happy about it. Maybe that's why there are so many happy housewives who are content to staying in the background. They're happy there, who are we to say otherwise?

    It's just the thought that women are expected to be submissive and obedient and are judged against when they go against this expectation that irks me.


  9. Hi! This is a great post. You reminded me of how much i miss Assumption Iloilo. I consider that place my second home. God bless to you and Vince!

  10. Franz,

    This is beautiful =)

    I suddenly had a flashback of you back in highschool! You're still the same girl =)

    I'm getting married and I honestly don't know how I'd be as a wife. I so like what you wrote and I guess this sums up an ideal relationship; "Yes, despite my feminism, I have no argument with submitting my will to my man because I have found joy in serving him. And, being the wonderful man that he is, his joy is also in serving me and making me happy!"

    - Jaki

  11. One of the freedoms we have as humans, is the freedom of choice. As women, we have the privilege of becoming homemakers - devoted entirely to caring and nurturing our families - should we choose to do so. I am not the obedient girlfriend/wife type, but I do know how to consider and care for the needs of my man too. He just can't really expect me to cook, clean, do laundry for him. Haha.

    It is wonderful to read you saying how happy you are to "serve" your husband, who does the same for you. There's just a negative connotation to the term serve. But I don't see anything anti-feminist in that :)

  12. Hi ladies! So far, so no angry comments! Yey!

    Thank you for sharing your own thoughts and your relationships. Your own positive experiences affirms my belief that there are a lot of good men out there who know how to treat their women right... and we know how to treat them right back!


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